During his lifetime, Richard L. Sharp was a pioneering businessman who understood the need to surround himself with great people and take risks to achieve success. A visionary, CEO and entrepreneur, his friends often marveled at his extraordinarily courageous attitude when taking on challenges. That’s how he lived his life and — even with his death impending — that’s how he continued looking for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, which would ultimately take his life.
Carrying on Sharp’s relentless dream of finding answers to Alzheimer’s, his wife, Sherry Sharp, today announced that in her husband’s honor she has agreed to serve on the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Board of Directors, in order to do what she can to further its mission of funding research with the highest probability of preventing, slowing, or reversing Alzheimer’s disease through venture-based philanthropy. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund warmly welcomes Mrs. Sharp and looks forward to working with her to find a cure for the disease.
Richard L. Sharp, the founder of the car dealership chain CarMax, former CEO of Circuit City electronics, chairman of the board of CROCS shoes and founder of V-Ten Capital Partners, passed away this June at age 67 from posterior cortical atrophy, a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease. He was diagnosed in October 2010 with early-onset Alzheimer’s, a disease that also afflicted his father, grandfather, and uncle.
“During Richard’s long illness, we were looking for the best way to make a difference in defeating this deadly disease, “said Mrs. Sharp, Richard’s high school sweetheart and wife of 45 years. “Recently I was introduced to two of the founders of Cure Alzheimer’s,” said Mrs. Sharp. “I can still remember how excited I was to share their information with Richard because venture-based philanthropy, their approach, would be exactly how he would want us to invest our efforts.”
“Cure Alzheimer’s venture capital approach to medical research works by finding the visionaries in the field, supporting them, focusing on the essentials by establishing a frugal culture and daring the researchers to be great,” said Mrs. Sharp. “That was the same way my husband ran his businesses.
“Alzheimer’s disease is devastating to individuals, families, and the country as a whole. It must be stopped, and I expect to be spending considerable personal time in supporting the mission of Cure Alzheimer’s to do just that,” says Sherry.
Sherry and her husband shared a desire to improve lives in a variety of ways, including education, children’s services, and medical research. In addition, Sherry has devoted time to Christian Ministry and more recently has focused on writing, including publishing Chicken Soup for the Soul, Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias Edition. Her story, Life Interrupted, was inspired by her experience as caregiver to her husband after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Mrs. Sharp lives in Richmond, Virginia. She especially enjoys spending time with her family.